A custom PC build with a budget of $1,500 offers a good sweet spot between the mid-range and high-end brackets. This is a setup that’s very much capable of playing video games in 4K at ultra settings and lasts for four to five more years before they start having trouble keeping up with the latest video games.
And with the new generation of GPU incoming, the prices and sales right now are off the charts. Now is the time to strike while the iron is hot and finally grab that good deal you’ve been eyeing.
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We’ve gone through the effort of picking out the parts for your custom PC build. The build costs approximately $1,500 (rounded off/down) and offers high-end components that can either work well for productivity or in gaming.
As always, this $1,500 cost doesn’t include the monitor, mouse, keyboard, Windows license, and extra fans. You will have to purchase those separately and have another budget for those. But in any case, there are no compatibility issues with this custom PC build; just buy and build if you like what you see.
Intel Core i5-13600K
- 14 cores for an i5
- Impressive performance that trades blows with i7 and Ryzen 7
- Stunning clock speed and overclock potential
- Comes with an integrated GPU
- Backward compatible with 600 series motherboards
- Runs hot
- Older Windows versions have trouble recognizing the e-cores
- 14 cores (6 P-cores + 8 E-cores) and 20 threads
- Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 770 included
- Up to 5.1 GHz unlocked, for overclocking
- Compatible with Intel 600 series and 700 series chipset-based motherboards
- 125W stock power draw
Since you’re dipping your toes into the high-end bracket, you get the privilege of having the latest tech in the form of Intel Core i5-13600K. This 13th Gen powerhouse is the direct successor to the venerable 12600K which offered impressive value and can even match the performances of i7 and Ryzen 7 CPUs of its generation.
You can expect the same for the 13600K. It’s even better since there are now 14 cores compared to its predecessor’s 10. The downside is the increased heat when the CPU is maxed out. That’s why you need robust cooling, more on that later.
PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon™ RX 6800 XT
- Triple-fan design
- Good 4K GPU
- Lots of VRAM
- Marginally better than the RTX 3080
- Fans ahd heatsink have good cooling
- High clock speeds and overclocking potential
- AMD software can be dodgy at times
- Bulky GPU
- Red and black design might not be for everyone
- Memory Speed:16.0 Gbps.Digital Max Resolution:7680×4320
- Video Memory: 16GB GDDR6
- Game Clock: 2065MHz (OC) / 2015MHz (Silent)
- Boost Clock: 2310MHz (OC) / 2250MHz (Silent)
- 300W TDP
Sadly, Nvidia’s RTX 3080 cards still have inflated prices and the RTX 4000 series cards are still swimming in scalpers’ hands. So you’re better off with the AMD option, specifically the RX 6800 XT.
In most games, it’s either better than the RTX 3080 or matches its performance. It’s also no slouch when it comes to ray tracing, though Nvidia is still the better choice for such a graphical feature. But make no mistake, this card is capable of 4K gaming and a smooth experience for 1440p.
MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4 ProSeries Motherboard
- Lots of room for expansion
- Decent overclocking capability
- Strong VRM heatsink
- ATX form factor
- Supports ARGB
- Good monochrome aesthetics
- No Wi-Fi
- No Bluetooth
- Supports 12th Gen Intel Core / Pentium / Celeron processors for LGA 1700 socket.
- Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 5600(OC) MHz
- 4 RAM slots
- ATX form factor
- 4 NVMe SSD slots
It’s a good thing 13th Gen Intel CPUs can fit right into 600 series motherboards because that means more savings for you. By going with the MSI Pro Z690-A, you’re only sacrificing DDR5 RAM compatibility, which at the moment, isn’t exactly cost-effective.
And in case you still want to overclock the Intel i5-13600K, you can do so since this motherboard has a robust VRM heatsink design and can handle overclocking well with its two 8-pin CPU connectors. As for expandable slots, you won’t find this lacking at all with the 4 NVMe SSD brackets, pretty generous.
Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 A-RGB
- Great cooling potential
- Tidy cable design
- Lots of innovative features
- Low-maintenance and low-power
- Odd pump head design
- LGA1700 Compatibility: The Liquid Freezer II 280 A-RGB is compatible with Intel’s new Alder Lake processors – Socket LGA1700*
- Maintenance-free water loop
- Low power consumption
It can be hard to pick a proper cooler for 13th Gen Intel processors due to their high power and copious heat output. But this one shouldn’t disappoint. The Arctic Liquid Freezer II has a good reputation in the PC community.
It’s compatible with LGA 1700 CPUs, meaning the 13600K. The temperatures shouldn’t go too high depending on your overclock, but as always, overclocking the CPU has diminishing performance returns. As an added bonus, the RGB is addressable and has a remote.
TeamGroup T-Force Vulcan Z DDR4 DRAM 16GB Kit (2x8GB) 3200MHz
- Dual channel
- Flat profile
- Good heatsink design
- Comes in other colors
- CL16 latency
- No RGB
- 3200MHz speed
- CL16 latency
- Dual channel
For the RAM, you don’t exactly need anything flashy or bulky since you’re just limited to DDR4 anyway. And since you’re not too far into the high-end spectrum, 16GB will have to do for now. You can easily upgrade to 32GB anyway.
For that matter, this cheap TeamGroup T-Force Vulcan Z RAM stick duo will more than suffice. Do consider adding in another two sticks (for a total of four) in case you’re going for an 8K monitor, though the cost will increase, of course.
Western Digital 1TB WD Green SN350
- 3 Year Warranty
- Shock resistance
- Western Digital dashboard monitor
- Good SSD speed
- Green shroud might not be for everyone
- No proper heatsink
- Fast NVMe performance for daily computing needs — up to 3,200MB/s
- SSDs offer shock resistance against accidental bumps and drops
- Downloadable Western Digital SSD Dashboard monitors the health and usage of your drive
- Rest assured with a Western Digital 3-year limited warranty
Like RAM, you also can’t go too extravagant on the storage yet since you’re still limited to the lower side of the spectrum in the high-end bracket. But thankfully, storage space doesn’t affect performance. At best, the type of storage can only affect loading speeds.
And with an NVMe SSD, you can rest assured that you have all the loading and boot-up speed your PC needs for you to not mind restarts and frequent loading screens. And with the motherboard for this build, you can easily buy and add three more of these.
Cooler Master MWE Gold 850 V2 Full Modular
- Gold-rated for less power wastage
- Fully modular for good cable managment
- Silent fan
- Decent for future-proofing
- Hydro Dynamic Fan
- Fully modular cables
- High-temperature tolerance
Picking a power supply unit for your custom PC build with this budget and component combination can be tricky. You’ll never know how much overhead you need thanks to Intel’s possible power spiking. But 850W will do the trick.
In fact, it’s a bit overkill and more than enough for the RX 6800 XT and the Intel i5-13600K, even if you’re overclocking both. You can also treat this kind of PSU as an investment as it can last for several builds and upgrades.
Lian Li O11 Air Mini
- Impressive cooling
- Modular backplate for different motherboard sizes
- Generous fan inclusions
- Short and compact
- Excellent cable management
- So much fan space
- A bit wide
- Pricey (there are cheaper clones)
- Mesh Panels at the top, front, and rear, providing extreme airflow
- Modular backplate (5 + 2 expansion slot), supporting MINI-ITX up to E-ATX MB
- Included 2 x 140MM PWM fans at the front, and a 120mm PWM fan at the rear
- Support 6 x 2.5” SSD or 4 x 3.5” HDD + 2 x 2.5” SSD
- Dimensions: 15.75 x 15.12 x 11.34 inches
All those powerful and hot components need proper cooling. And when it comes to that, the Lian Li O11 Air Mini will surely provide ample air. Just be sure to populate all the fan slots and you’re good to go.
This case is also a bit of an investment in case you want a smaller motherboard in the future as an upgrade or PC replacement. The design is a trendsetter and features a unique dual-chamber for the PSU, so that cable management is as tidy as possible. There is also a glass front panel option but that’s more expensive and provides less cooling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a high-end custom PC build play 4K?Yes. High-end PC builds typically target resolutions of 1440p or 4K.
How much does a high-end custom PC build cost?High-end typically starts at the $1,400 to $1,500 budget range and goes on indefinitely.